If area track athletes are posting state-leading and even record-breaking times and jumps just three weeks into the season, just what can be expected at the end of the year?
Will the results be similar or better when the pressure of the state meet intensifies everything? Hard to tell, but right now the 2013 track season, as most expected, is shaping up to be something special.
Area athletes through three weeks have posted some special efforts with the next big event being the Chandler Rotary March 22-23.
“We are hitting it early, but that doesn’t surprise me,” Desert Vista boys coach Chris Hanson said. “Those guys who are hitting it well for (Mountain Pointe) are pure athletes and we are coming off a great winter season workout.”
Records are already falling.
Pride sophomore Paul Lucas, who already owns the school record in the 400-meter dash, set the school record in the 200 with a time of 21.47 seconds in the Aztec Invitational.
And he’s not done yet.
“I told Ben Trotter last year that I was coming for him,” said Lucas about getting Trotter’s record in the 100-yard dash (10.60) that was set in his senior year in 2012. “I’ll get it.”
He already posted a 10.68 this season and others are thinking even bigger for Lucas.
“(Brophy phenom) Devon Allen is going to have his work cut out for him cause that Lucas kid is for real,” Hanson said. “Allen is coming off (an ankle) injury and Lucas is already posting times.”
Two other impressive showings at the Aztec Invite came from the Thunder pole vaulters as they took the top four places in both boys and girls.
Senior Scott Marshall set the school record with an effort of 16 feet and 09 inches, while Vanessa Davis set the state record for sophomores by clearing 12-06.25.
Marshall recently committed to Wake Forest after taking an official visits there and Arkansas. So it has been a couple of good weeks for him, but he knows the big number to start the year changes his approach to the season.
“I was kind of shocked and didn’t know what to do,” he said. “That (the height) I was shooting for this season and I already hit it. Now, I can relax and just go compete. I’ll just keep on doing what I am now and I can look at the state record (17-4, which was set by Nick Hyson of Tolleson in 1990) as the goal.”
Thunder pole vault coach Jeff Guy, who took Davis to the New Balance Indoor Nationals over the weekend, said Marshall has grown into a top vaulter.
“There has been a big change in physical maturity and physiological as well,” he said. “His best last year was 15-6 and 15-2 in the one (state meet) that counts. It was good to get 16 (feet) out of the way early and he can really go after it now.”
Other top performers in the early going include Mountain Pointe’s Kevina Godfrey (16-09 in long jump, sprints), the Thunder senior Dylan Fischer, who had a state-leading throw of 166-6 in the discus, and Desert Vista sophomore Dani Jones, who won both the 800- (2 minutes and 17.09 seconds, and won by nearly 7 seconds) and 1600-meter (5:11.46, won by nearly 6 seconds over teammate Nicole Hicks) runs at the Aztec.
If these performances are the starting point then there is no reason to think come May a state team championship might be in reach.
“It’s up for grabs this year,” Hanson said. “Brophy, especially if Allen is healthy, is going to be there, Mountain Pointe has to be a favorite and Corona beat us at our own game. We have to get better and we are not disappointed where we are at, but know we have to get better. Only thing that matters in our eyes is the state meet.”
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